Five weeks in with our third little guy and we are fully back to our usual routine.
We’d been moved into our house for just over a week when I was told I needed to be induced immediately. Then came the five day stint in hospital. Followed by the two week haze of half term and paternity leave.
The last few weeks are the longest we’ve stayed in one place since moving out in February due to the building work. For the first time in ages, I feel settled. Moving in and then having a baby unexpectedly early (albeit only a few weeks early, but early enough that I hadn’t packed a hospital bag and we still had most of our household belongings in moving boxes!) has been a whirlwind of change in a very short space of time, but home feels like home now.
And three children feels very much like home.
Third time round, it is just pure joy. I find myself gushing over him in a way I don’t think I’ve ever done before: “He’s so little”, “He’s so sweet”. His big eyes looking up at me makes me melt a bit. Has it taken three children for me to let go of the worry of the unknown enough to make room for the simplest of appreciations?
With the first baby, everything was unknown and the (exhausting) focus was on learning everything. With the second baby comes worry about how to juggle more than one child, and how the dynamic will shift between you and your firstborn. Third time round, for me, there has been no unknown, and the change in dynamics is nothing compared to the huge magnitude felt when Arlo became a big brother.
Third time round is relaxed, it’s precious, and these early months where he needs me oh so much feels like a special gift to myself.
I didn’t have a clue I would feel this way. I thought it would be a bigger adjustment, and a lot more juggling. Perhaps I have that to come, as he wakes up more, but at the moment I am blissfully enjoying having a newborn again.
Third time round, you are welcomed by a tribe. There are established ways of life, there are sibling bonds that came before you and will pave the way for your own family relationships – you will grow up watching them, following them, copying their games.
You know your brothers, and in the snatches that you are awake and alert, your eyes follow them eagerly. The look on your face as you watch them play is the most natural expression. Of course it is, you’ve been hearing your brothers’ voices all your life.
Third time round, family life swells eagerly and effortlessly to encompass you.
(Arlo requested some photos with his little brother, and then everyone else decided to join in. Normally, I’d be hugely annoyed that the shot of Rory and Sam is so blurry, but on this occasion, I think it adds to the feeling).